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Iowans describe DNA surprises and praise a new state law protecting victims

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

A bipartisan bill that became Iowa law this year criminalizes fertility fraud, making physicians liable for a felony and, if convicted, forced to register as a Tier III sex offender.

It took two years and advocacy from victims of fertility fraud and other DNA surprises to get the Fraud in Assisted Reproduction Act enshrined in state law.

As the accessibility of DNA testing has expanded in recent years and stories about misuse of donor materials have come to light, including the Netflix documentary Our Father, River to River host Ben Kieffer talks with columnist Courtney Crowder, who helped bring Iowan Mark Hansen's story of fertility fraud to light, as well as other advocates and those who have been impacted by misattributed parentage experiences which can occur due to an adoption, assisted conception, or those conceived from a non-parental event (NPE.)

This episode was originally produced July 22, 2022.


  • Courtney Crowder, Des Moines Register Iowa Columnist
  • Mark Hansen, fertility fraud legislation advocate
  • Jodi Girard, fertility fraud legislation advocate
  • Kara Rubinstein-Deyerin, CEO of non-profit organization Right to Know
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.